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unemployment

January 19, 2021 - 6:14pm
posted by Press Release in unemployment, news.

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a proposal to boost partial Unemployment Insurance benefits to New Yorkers who return to work part time as part of the 2021 State of the State.

The plan will ensure unemployed New Yorkers who accept part-time work are not penalized by basing their partial unemployment benefits on the hours they actually work, rather than the number of days they work in a given week. This change will inject more money into New York's economy while helping businesses fill part-time positions.

Legislation to be submitted with the Executive Budget will permanently enact a Partial UI program to incentivize unemployed New Yorkers to assume a part-time job as they search for full-time work, with a revised calculation made possible by technological improvements currently underway.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, New York State has distributed more than $62 billion in unemployment benefits to 4 million New Yorkers -- representing over 29 typical years' worth of benefits paid in just 10 months. This includes more than $1 billion paid during the week of Jan. 4, 2021 to New Yorkers through newly extended federal unemployment programs, which New York implemented weeks ahead of most other states.

"The COVID pandemic has created dual crises, putting Americans' physical health and financial wellbeing at risk -- and in New York we are addressing both sides of this public health emergency. I am immediately directing the Department of Labor to change outdated rules so as we build back from the pandemic, unemployed New Yorkers aren't penalized for taking part-time jobs," Governor Cuomo said.

"Encouraging part-time work will help New Yorkers get back to work quickly, give small businesses the flexibility needed to navigate these difficult times, and ensure our neighbors have money to put food on the table."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for moving this proposal forward. No New Yorker should be discouraged from taking part-time work for fear of losing critical benefits when they are trying to do what is necessary to provide for their families and transition back into the workforce full time. This new plan is an important pathway for our workforce, our businesses, and our communities."

Under current law, unemployed New Yorkers' weekly benefits are reduced by 25 percent for each day an individual works, regardless of the hours worked -- unfairly penalizing those who accept part-time jobs. This meant that anyone who worked four or more days -- even if they only worked one hour per day -- would have to forfeit their entire weekly benefit.

In order to fix this illogical system of partial unemployment, Governor Cuomo will direct the Department of Labor to immediately implement emergency measures that base partial unemployment benefits on the number of hours actually worked over the course of a week.

Under this new system, unemployed New Yorkers can work up to seven days per week and still receive some unemployment benefits as long as they work fewer than 30 hours and earn no more than $504 in gross pay. The new method of calculating partial benefits is outlined below:

  • New Yorkers who work between zero and four hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive their full unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between four and 10 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive 75 percent of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between 10 and 20 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive half of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between 20 and 30 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive 25 percent of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work over 30 hours in a week, regardless of earnings, will not receive any of their unemployment benefit.

New Yorkers will still be required to submit weekly certifications online or over the phone to receive their benefits each week. However, to allow the DOL to immediately implement this change, claimants will use a formula to convert the number of hours they work into a number of "days" to report when certifying.

When DOL's certification system asks for the number of days worked, New Yorkers will add together the total number of hours they worked during a given week and use the following chart to determine how their weekly hours worked translates to the number of days they should report when certifying.

The changes will go into effect for work done on or after Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, which unemployed New Yorkers certify for starting on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.

Hours Worked In A Given Week Number of Days to Report When Certifying Percent Reduction in Benefits
0 4 0 0
4.1 10 1 25%
10.1 20 2 50%
20.1 30 3 75%

When totaling hours for the week, claimants should use a maximum of 10 hours per day, even if they worked more hours during a day.

In order to implement this reform and support unemployed New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo will launch a Workforce Forward Strike Team, which will bring together experts from the DOL, the Governor's Workforce Development Office and the Empire State Development Corporation to connect unemployed New Yorkers seeking part-time employment with small businesses that are looking for part-time workers.

The strike team will also help businesses develop strategies to utilize the flexibility part-time workers provide as they build back from the pandemic.

In addition, Governor Cuomo will direct the DOL to strengthen its Shared Work Program, which enables employers to avoid layoffs by allowing workers to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. This program, which has been in place since 1986, became a vital lifeline for businesses across the state as they made temporary staff reductions in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the DOL has already reduced required paperwork and improved the plan approval and certification processes, enabling the Shared Work Program to handle a 10-fold increase in the number of plans in 2020 -- helping more than 60,000 New Yorkers stay at work during the coronavirus pandemic. In the coming year, the DOL will conduct targeted outreach efforts and implement new technology that will make it easier for employers to learn about and participate in this critical program.

December 23, 2020 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, economy.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in November, still a percentage point higher than a year ago, but a bit better than it was with October's 5.0 percent rate.

There are 27,000 county residents with jobs. There were 28,400 a year ago in November and 26,800 in October of this year.

There are 1,300 people actively seeking employment compared to 1,100 a year ago and 1,300 last month.

October 21, 2020 - 11:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, notify.

Genesee County's unemployment rate, at 4.8 percent for September, is the lowest percentage it's been in 2020 but still significantly higher than its seasonal rate a year ago.

In August rate 2019, the rate was 3.4 percent.

Since the pandemic hit the economy, the local employment rate has been:

  • April, 14.4 percent
  • May, 10.1 percent
  • June, 9.5 percent
  • July, 10.5 percent
  • August, 8 percent

The lowest rate prior to September was in February and March at 4.9 percent. The pandemic-related job losses started in March but those job losses didn't start to show up in official statistics until April.

There are 28,900 county residents counted in the labor force. A year ago, there were 29,900 people in the local labor force.

Of those currently in the labor force (people who are employed or are actively looking for work), 27,500 have jobs. There are 1,400 looking for work.

For September, there were 21,200 non-farm jobs in Genesee County compared to 23,000 a year ago. Of those, 15,700 are in the private sector (compared to 17,400 a year ago).

September 18, 2020 - 2:29pm
posted by Press Release in NYS Department of Labor, news, unemployment, FEMA.

Press release:

The New York State Department of Labor today announced that New York has paid nearly $1.9 billion in Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits to 2.26 million New Yorkers this week, representing retroactive payments of $300 for the weeks ending Aug. 2nd, 9th and 16th.

In total, New York State has now paid $44.5 billion in benefits to New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic — representing more than 21 typical years’ worth of benefits paid in just six months. 

In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved New York for the second and final round of LWA funding. This round of funding provides three additional weeks of Lost Wages Assistance benefits, paid retroactively for the weeks ending Aug. 23rd, Aug. 30th, and Sept. 6th. New Yorkers will begin to receive these payments next week.  

“Over the last six months, we have moved heaven and earth to connect millions of New Yorkers with their benefits, including nearly $1.9 billion in Lost Wages Assistance payments distributed just this week,” said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “While plagued with administrative roadblocks, the federal lost wages assistance program is now finally providing unemployed families with much needed support — and it is unconscionable for the Federal government to once again cut Americans off from this support.

"Leaders in Washington, D.C., must pass a comprehensive package that supports unemployed families and the state and local governments that are hurting from this pandemic. Anything less is simply unacceptable.” 

An estimated 2.3 million New Yorkers are eligible for the second round of LWA payments for the benefit weeks ending Aug. 23rd, Aug. 30th, and Sept. 6th. They include: 

  • Approximately 2.1 million who are prequalified for the LWA program because they have previously indicated that their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. These New Yorkers will receive an email and text message informing them they are pre-qualified and do not need to take any further action.
     
  • Approximately 157,000 who are eligible for one or more LWA payments for the weeks ending Aug. 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, and/or Sept. 6th but have not submitted a certification indicating they are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as required by the federal government. These New Yorkers have already received a secure DocuSign email from NYS DOL with a link to certify or can call 833-491-0632 to certify via automated phone system.
  • Approximately 23,700 who are eligible for one or more LWA payments for the weeks ending Aug. 23rd, Aug. 30th or Sept. 6th but were not eligible for the earlier weeks’ payments because they were not unemployed during the first three weeks of August. These New Yorkers will receive a secure DocuSign email from NYS DOL on Sept. 18th with a link to certify or can call 833-491-0632 to certify via automated phone system. 

New Yorkers who are prequalified for the second round of LWA benefits or who must certify and submit their certification by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22nd, will receive their payments next week. Those who submit their certification at a later date will be paid on a rolling basis.

August 27, 2020 - 12:58pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, notify, business.

Genesee County's unemployment rate is back over 10 percent for July after a small dip to 9.5 percent in June.

The 2020 rate of 10.6 percent is 7 percentage points higher than it was a year ago.

Genesee County's unemployment rate had mostly stay between 6 percent and 3 percent, depending on the time of year, going back to 2015, and then the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic hit and many people started to shelter in place at the same time the government severely restricted business activity.  

In March, the month the first lockdown orders were issued, the county's unemployment rate was 4.9 percent. In April, it jumped to 14.4 percent, then fell to 10.1 percent in May.

A year ago in July, it was 3.5 percent.

One big factor in the local unemployment numbers is the county's largest seasonal employer, Darien Lake Theme Park, has not been allowed to reopen. The park employs more than 1,000 people every summer.

Another significant local employer that remains closed is Batavia Downs, which this time of year would have at least 450 people on the workforce.

There are currently 3,200 work-eligible people living in Genesee County who do not have jobs. A year ago, there were 1,100 people looking for work who reported they couldn't find a job that suited their qualifications.

At the hight of the previous recession. the high July number for unemployed people was 2,400.

June 23, 2020 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, notify.

After hitting an unprecedented 14.4 percent in April, Genesee County's unemployment rate fell sharply for May, dropping to 10.1 percent.

That is a level more in line with the area unemployment rate at the depth of the great recession when unemployment topped out at an even 10 percent January and February of 2010.

Of course, the May 2020 unemployment rate is much higher than the 3.4 percent of a year ago.

At the same time, there are also more people participating in the workforce in Genesee County than a year ago, an increase of 200 workers who either have employment or are seeking employment, from 29,300 to 29,500.

The total number of local residents considered unemployed is 3,000, compared to 1,000 a year ago, 4,200 a month ago, and 1,400 two months ago.

The state's unemployment rate is 14.2 percent, up from 3.6 percent a year ago, and the U.S. unemployment rate 13 percent. Nationally, it was 3.4 percent a year ago in May.

May 27, 2020 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, notify.

Genesee County's unemployment rate jumped to 14.4 percent in April, the highest rate since the Great Recession, when 10 percent of county residents were without jobs in January and February of 2010.

The highest unemployment rate for the county since 1990 (the oldest data publicly available) was 10.8 percent in January 1992.

The unemployment rate a year ago for April was 3.7 percent. In March of this year, it was 4.9 percent, as it was in February, and it was 5.1 percent in January.

The unemployment rate in the state is 15 percent.

It's 19.2 percent in the Buffalo area and 14.9 percent in the Rochester area.

There are 4,300 people in Genesee County counted as unemployed and 25,200 county residents with jobs.

April 10, 2020 - 7:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, news, covid-19, coronavirus.

Press release:

“Earlier today, the Department of Labor started proactively calling every New Yorker who had submitted a partially complete application for Unemployment Insurance.

“Like many across the Empire State, the majority of our staff are working from home, and New Yorkers may see an incoming caller ID that lists ‘PRIVATE CALLER.’ I want to encourage New Yorkers to answer these calls so we can complete your application and connect you with the benefits you deserve.

'To prevent fraud, anyone calling from the Department of Labor will verify their identity by providing the date you filed your Unemployment Insurance application and the type of claim you filed."

“We are dedicating every resource available to increase our capacity, processing claims, and helping New Yorkers weather this storm.”

March 23, 2020 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, news, covid-19, coronavirus.
March 20, 2020 - 9:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, news, jobs, economy, covid-19, coronavirus, notify.

Yesterday, Mike Pettinella reported on the high volume of requests for assistance the state's unemployment offices are receiving for benefits.

Today, spokeswoman Deanna Cohen provided an update:

Yesterday we received 532,000+ site visits from New Yorkers filing UI claims.

Today we received 475,000+ calls.

Our dedicated staff is doing the best they can and are committed to serving every single person, no matter how long it takes.

September 26, 2019 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, economy, news.

The August unemployment rate for Genesee County was 3.5 percent, according to the state's Department of Labor, up 2/10ths of a percent from the previous August.

While up slightly, it's still well below the recession peak of 7 percent in 2012 and below this year's highest rate of 5 percent in February.

The state reports there are 30,100 local residents in the labor force, unchanged from a year ago.

Also unchanged is the 29,100 people counted as employed year-over-year. (Working the calculation backward to find the difference between a 3.3 percent and a 3.5 percent unemployment rate would yield 1,050 people, approximately, seeking work who haven't found it. The state releases only round numbers for workforce participation).

There was also an uptick in the state's unemployment rate -- from 4.0 percent to 4.2 percent.

The nation's unemployment rate dipped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent.

There were 200 few jobs being filled by workers in Genesee County in August, dropping from 23,900 in August 2018 to 23,700 this year. The decrease in 200 jobs was split equally between the private sector and the government.

May 28, 2019 - 12:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, news, notify.

Genesee County's unemployment rate dropped by 7/10ths of a percent in April 2019 compared to April 2018, according to the state's Department of Labor.

The 3.6 percent rate is lowest of any April since at least 1992 (as far as published data goes back). During that span, the April rate has never dropped below 4 percent.

The total Genesee County labor force (people who have jobs or are seeking jobs) is reported at 29,400, up from 29,200 the year prior.

The highest April unemployment rates for Genesee County since 1992 were in 2010 and 2012 at 7.9 percent when the labor force was 31,800 and 31,700, respectively. 

A total of 28,300 people in the county are employed, up from 28,000 a year ago.

The state's unemployment rate is 3.6 percent, down from 4 percent a year ago, and the nation's rate is 3.3 percent, down from 3.7 percent a year ago.

April 24, 2019 - 10:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, news, notify.

Genesee County's unemployment rate in March was 4.6 percent, the lowest March rate since at least 1990.

The rate a year ago was 5.4 percent.

The county's labor force is reportedly 29,100, down 100 people from a year ago. The number of county residents with jobs is reported at 27,800, up 200 from a year ago. The number of residents seeking employment is 1,300, down from 1,600 a year ago.

In 1990, there was 30,800 residents in the labor pool with 29,200 holding jobs.

The unemployment rate in March for the GLOW region is 4.9 percent, down from 5.8 percent a year ago and also the lowest recorded rate since 1990.

The state's unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, down from 4.6 percent a year ago and nationally, the rate is 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 percent a year ago.

March 18, 2019 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, economy, news, notify.

While Genesee County's unemployment rate jumped to 5.0 percent in January it was still a point-and-a-half lower than a year earlier for the same month.

The Department of Labor released the county's unemployment rate on Friday.

January's unemployment rate is traditionally one of the highest rates of any month in the year and last year it was 6.4 percent.

In December, the local rate was 4.1 percent.

There were 30,000 local residents reported in the labor force for January of this year compared to 29,500 the previous January.

Of those 30,000, 28,500 had jobs compared to 27,600 with jobs the previous year.

The number reported without work but seeking employment dropped from 1,900 to 1,500.

As for the number of private-sector jobs in the county, there were 16,300 reported in January compared to 16,200 the previous year.

May 25, 2017 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, business, news.

At least 400 people entered the labor force in Genesee County from March to April, according to the latest data released by the New York State Department of Labor.

That puts the total size of the labor force at 29,400, with 1,300 people classified as unemployment, which puts the unemployment rate at 4.6 percent.

A year ago in April, the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in the county.

Over the past year, the county's labor force has declined by approximately 500 people. It's difficult to pinpoint the reason for the decline, but Baby Boomers reaching retirement age could be a factor.

The total number of employed residents 28,100. A year ago in April, it was 28,600 and in March it was 27,500.

The unemployment rate in the GLOW region is 5.0, the same as a year ago. 

In Rochester, it's 4.6 percent. In Buffalo, it's 5.0. For the state, it's 4.2. For the nation, it's 4.1 percent.

August 25, 2016 - 9:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, unemployment, economy, business.

Genesee County's unemployment rate last month was at its lowest level for July since 2006, hitting 4.0, lower by sixth-tenths of a percent from July of last year.

In 2006, the rate was 4.0 and the last time it was lower was in 2001, at 3.7 percent. The highest rate over the past decade was 7.5 percent in 2012.

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 5.1 percent and for New York State it is 5.0.

In June for Genesee County, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. June's rate locally is usually the same or lower than July.

The county's labor participation total -- the number of people working or actively looking for work is 30,800. A year ago it was 31,400. The highest level this century was 34,800 in 2008.

The unemployment rate for the GLOW region is 4.5 percent, down from 5.2 percent a year ago.

In the Rochester area, the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent. It's 4.9 percent in the Buffalo area.

April 20, 2016 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in unemployment, jobs, business.

The Genesee County unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in March, the lowest rate so far this year and lower than the 6.2 percent of March 2015.

The rate was 5.5 in February and 5.7 in January.

For the entire GLOW region, the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, down from 6.7 percent a year ago.

The state rate is 5.2 percent.

On the jobs side, there were 22,100 non-farm positions reported in Genesee County for March, compared to 22,000 a year ago. 

The state's labor force participation rate, which had been in steep decline starting in 2009 has shown consistent increases over the past three or four months and is now 63 percent. A decade ago, it hovered around 66 percent. 

The labor force participation rate measures all people age 16 and older who either hold jobs or are looking for jobs.

Genesee County's labor force is reported as 29,900. It was 29,500 in March 2015; 32,800 in 2008. The lowest point for March over the past decade was last year.

August 25, 2015 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, economy, business, unemployment.

Genesee County's unemployment rate was reported at below 5 percent for the third straight month, with a July number of 4.7 percent.

The July rate is the lowest its been for the midsummer month since 2007, when the rate was 4.1 percent.

The 2015 figure is lower than a year ago when the rate was 5.0.

In all, the labor department currently lists 1,500 local residents without jobs and 17,800 with jobs.

The department also reports a total of 24,000 non-farm jobs in the county, up slightly from the previous July when there were 23,800 jobs reported. There were 24,400 jobs reported in the county in June.

The lowest recorded unemployment rate for July since 1990 is 3.4 percent. The highest jobs number for July since is 24,600 in 2008.

April 2, 2014 - 9:32am
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, jobs, unemployment.

While Genesee County's unemployment rate is lower than a year ago for February, it is slightly higher than January and remains higher than the 12-month low.

The Labor Department reports the county's rate for February was 7.5 percent. A year earlier it was 8.6 percent and a month earlier it was 7.3 percent. The 12-month low is  5.7 percent in August.

The state's rate is 7.7 percent, down from 8.6 percent a year ago.

The rate in Livingston County is 7.2 percent, 10.2 in Orleans and 9.1 in Wyoming.

July 23, 2013 - 1:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in business, economy, jobs, unemployment.

Genesee County unemployment rate held steady in the month of June at 6.2 percent, matching May's rate and lower than the 7.4-percent rate a year ago, according to figures released today by NYS Department of Labor.

Genesee County continues to maintain the lowest rate in the GLOW region, with Orleans at 8.4 percent, Livingston at 7 percent and Wyoming at 7.1 percent.

The Rochester-area rate is 7.0 and the Buffalo-area rate is at 7.4 percent.

The state's rate is 7.6 percent and the U.S. rate is 7.8 percent.

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